Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 3/29/17
Thanos was already an interesting series, but the latest issue has put my intrigue over the top. The series picks up with Thane and his team breaking into the stronghold of Terrax the Destroyer and what happens next will excite every Marvel fan. Jeff LeMire has done an outstanding job of bringing Thanos to life in ways that we’ve not seen before, which is great since there aren’t too many foes that have yet to take on the Titan death-dealer.
I shan’t ruin the end the book by giving away Death’s secret weapon for defeating Thanos but suffice it to say that this is one foe Thanos will have an extremely hard, if not impossible, time defeating them. It’s also a great way to introduce new elements to the series, as it’s usually Thanos that is wielding supreme power and not his enemies. Now Thanos will go up against a foe with more power than he’s ever faced before.
Plot: After Death helps free Thane from his imprisonment at the hands of Corvus Glaive, Thane assembles a team of warriors to help him take down Thanos. Unbeknownst to these warriors, Thane has hidden from them his true plans. As they begin the first stage of their plan, an assault on Terrax the Destroyer’s ship, Thanos finds himself imprisoned by the Shi’ar Imperial Guard in secret gulag hidden in the far reaches of space. Of course, not even a remote gulag can hold the Mad Titan and that’s just fine by Thane, who has a secret in store for him that will literally rock his world.
Story: Jeff Lemire really stepped it up in this latest issue. The previous issues deftly guided the reader to the opinion that the story had all the makings of a fun, but somewhat bland story featuring Thanos and his kin, but Lemire was really just holding his cards close to the vest because he had an unbeatable hand he was just waiting to drop on us like a ten-ton nuke. Thanos becomes more and more interesting with each passing issue and this latest offering has me foaming at the mouth for the next issue. It is the crown jewel of the first five issues and is surely setting us up for greatness on the back end.
Thanos is a master of mind games and so it is fitting that Lemire and Mike Deodato have been waiting for the right time to drop their bomb on readers. The story has also shown depth, a knowledge of Thanos’ history, and a unique blend of the present with the past. It will definitely be rewarding to ride out this story to its conclusion, I imagine the wars that will be waged between now and then will satisfy even the most blood-thirsty Marvel fans. After all, you don’t read Thanos unless you enjoy bloody battles and certain death.
Art: Mike Deodato continues his brilliant artwork in this issue. The scenes with Thanos nearing death are artistically powerful and make savvy use of the visions Death planted in Thane’s head as she helped him escape Glaive’s prison. My personal favorite panel in this issue is the scene where Thanos rips the arm off the Shi’ar Prison Warden and slaps him with it. Talk about an insulting death; first your arm is ripped off, then you’re beaten to death with your own arm. Brutal. Emblematic of the Mad Titan. Perfect.
Verdict: Our titular character continues to be a favorite of mine. There is something about his stories that appeal to me on many levels. They are oftens as deep philosophically as they are pointlessly violent. Lemire knew that he had to create a story we haven’t seen before and he answered the bell with vigor and determination. The way this story is shaping up, it may end up being one of the defining stories of Marvel’s greatest villain. If it ends up being mediocre, which I highly doubt, at least we have the scene where a dude got beaten to death with his own arm.. — JW
Rating: 5/5 Stars